A Delta State High Court, Effurun, has sentenced a 28-year-old housewife, Mrs. Mary Attah, to death by hanging for stabbing her pastor husband with a kitchen knife and setting him ablaze. The presiding judge, Justice E. I. Oritsejafor, sentenced Mary to death having been pronounced guilty on the one-count charge preferred against her by the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
The offence was punishable under Section 319(1) of the Criminal Code Law, Cap C21, Volume 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006. Delivering the death verdict, Oritsejafor held that the prosecution led by an Assistant Director, Mr. Patrick Mekako, was able to prove beyond all reasonable doubt the essential ingredients of the offence of murder against the convict.
He said: “I must also add that the evidence before this court does not and cannot support the plea of self-defence in favour of the accused person.I agree with the learned Assistant Director for the prosecution that there is just no possible defence to avail the accused person when she stabbed her deceased husband in the neck with a knife and thereafter doused him with fuel before she struck the match on him was to kill the deceased or do him grievous bodily harm.
The law is trite that a man intends the natural consequences of his act. “The sentence of this court upon you, Mary Attah, is death by hanging by the neck till you be dead and may the Lord have mercy on your soul.”